RWA’s NYC chapter is featuring interviews with members’ novel’s heroines on the blog this month. Next month, they’ll be interviewing the heroes.
This, as you might imagine, causes a strange dilemma when you’re writing same-sex romance. Not that the chapter isn’t welcoming (they’re pretty spectacular, frankly). But the fact remains that LGBT romance, while a fast growing segment, is still a small part of the market.
So the heroine questions exist, and they compliment the hero questions, and Erin and I have two heroes. Now, we could have waited until June and had both of Starling‘s heroes, Paul and Alex, interviewed separately, but that wouldn’t have quite done the exercise justice. Besides, Alex stumbles into his life of fame by yelling at someone for calling him a twink. His appropriate outrage at misgendering in this RWA exercise and his general distaste for the media, made it seem worthwhile to us to have him answer the heroine questions as is.
So that’s what’s going on there: Alex reacting to the world’s unreasonable and inappropriate expectation that in a same-sex relationship someone is always the “girl” and someone else is always the “boy.”
Do check out the other heroine interviews. They’ll give you a sense of the amazing diversity in the field. (Check out Falguni Kothari’s Booty and the Beast as just one example).
We also do want to note that while the primary romance in Starling is m/m, that the book has several fantastic female characters, including Alex’s best friend, Gemma, and Liam’s girlfriend, Carly. They are both, absolutely, the heroes of their own stories, and when they aren’t respected accordingly, speak up strongly. Additionally, hang on for Darcy, who you won’t meet until Doves. She’s responsible for some of the funniest lines I’ve ever been involved in writing.
But meanwhile, back to Alex and those heroine questions: That picture? Totally not Alex. Who is ginger, freckled, and arguably delicate (arguably, because he was on the high school wrestling team; he may not look like it at first glance, but he can do a lot of damage).